Things to do nearby Oakview Cottage
Hesket Newmarket is a mainly 18th century village stretched out along the central green. It has been home to Hesket Newmarket Brewery since 1988, making the village well known amongst lovers of real ales. You can arrange a tour of the brewery, which includes tastings, or just sample their wares in the Old Crown, which was (and still is) the first pub in Britain to be owned and run by a co-operative. The old market cross on the green is used for local events including a Nativity at Christmas.
A footpath from the far side of the green leads through fields and Bluebell woods down to a bridge over Cald Beck. Here you can join the Cumbria Way either turning left to Caldbeck or right to Sebergham. Both are attractive routes passing through woodland and pasture with views back across the valley. Once you reach the pretty village of Caldbeck, a further short walk takes you to The Howk; a historic former Bobbin Mill by a limestone gorge in the river, and to attractive waterfalls a little further upstream. Caldbeck churchyard is worth a visit to locate the graves of ‘the Maid of Buttermere’ and John Peel (the Cumbrian huntsman, not the radio DJ!). It also contains the Roughton Stone, a monument to the men who worked Roughton Mine over it’s 400 year history and who are laid to rest here. Caldbeck has a selection of cafés and a pub for refreshment before you start your return journey, which could be by the same route or you can utilise the quiet lanes and footpaths to the south of the village.
If you prefer your walks wilder, then footpaths and quiet lanes lead south from Hesket Newmarket to the base of routes up both High Pike and Carrock Fell. The ridge route between the two fells can be used to form a brilliant circuit with extensive views across the Solway Coast to Scotland, over the Eden Valley to the North Pennines, and to the heights of the Lake District to the south. Geologists will find much to interest them on the slopes of these fells, which have been extensively mined for their mineral wealth in the past.
A short car journey to parking places at Longlands or Orthwaite give access to some of the other Back o’ Skiddaw fells including the infamous Great Cockup. These rounded green fells invite you to explore at your own pace and take time to enjoy the peace and quiet. For a bigger challenge, set off up the back of Skiddaw itself via Whitewater Dash Waterfall and Bakestall, a quiet route up a popular fell. Many walks and local attractions can also be accessed via the Caldbeck Rambler bus service in the summer. This makes it possible to do linear walks or to visit attraction such as the Mirehouse, Keswick or the Lake District Wildlife Park without having to bother with the car.
Cyclists of all ages and abilities can also find plenty of options either around the network of quiet lanes around Hesket Newmarket or on the off road tracks to Skiddaw House. Mountain bikers will want to try Whinlatter, which has purpose built trails of varying difficulty. The Reivers Route long distance cycle trail passes right through Hesket Newmarket and the Coast to Coast cycle route also travels close by.
Fans of historic houses are well catered for in this area. Hutton-in-the-Forest is linked by legend to the story of Gawain and Green Knight and there are beautiful gardens to discover. Mirehouse is a sunny house dating from 1666 that has extensive and varied gardens, a lakeshore walk, and natural play areas. Lowther Castle, the now roofless but no less impressive country seat of the Lowther family, boasts fascinating, elaborate gardens, a huge adventure playground and lots of rope swings, plus a children’s birdwatching hide.
Birdwatchers should head to the Solway Coast, for the large flocks of geese, waders, seabirds and a good variety of small birds. Try the SSSI at Grune Point/Skinburness or the RSPB reserve at Campfield Marsh. Anyone interested in wildlife should head to the Osprey viewpoint at Dodd Wood from May to August. Volunteers are on hand to show everyone the birds through telescopes and binoculars set up at the viewpoint. You may also be lucky enough to see a red squirrel on the feeders while you are there.
The Border City of Carlisle offers an interesting day out with its sandstone cathedral (the tallest building in this compact city), an historic castle that was once home to Mary Queen of Scots, and Tullie House Museum with its interactive exhibitions and local history. After a walk by the River Eden you could head to the large play area with a music trail and gardens between the castle and the river.
Penrith and Cockermouth are both smaller market towns with attractive architecture and a range of shops and cafés, perfect for spending some time and both within a half hour’s drive. Near Penrith is Rheged with shops, cafés, pottery painting, a 3D cinema, and a soft play area.
Keswick is the hub of the northern Lake District. Located on the shores of Derwentwater, at the foot of a range of popular fells, it is well worth a visit. You can take a boat across the lake, walk along to Friars Crag for a beautiful view down the lake to Borrowdale, buy something in one of numerous outdoor shops, play mini golf or tennis, take in a show at the Theatre by the Lake or a film at the traditional cinema, have fish and chips to take away, or sit down to a Mexican. It’s all here, and more!